John Rhys-Davies biography
Date of Birth: May 5, 1944
English-born Welsh actor, Rhys-Davies, who was raised in England, Africa and
Wales, became inspired to take the road to performing while a university
student. After graduating, he won a scholarship to study at the prestigious
Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.
When his education was completed,
he began doing stage work at the critically acclaimed Madder-Market Theatre
Moving onto the Royal Shakespeare Company, Rhys-Davies built an
impressive line of credits including over 100 plays (and 26 Shakespeare
productions) under his career belt.
Starting his screen experience on the small screen in series like I, Claudius,
Budgie and telefilms like The Nativity and Shogun, he
caught the eye of director Spielburg who was looking for actors to fill roles in his new
action flick, Raiders of the Lost Arc (1981). Rhys-Davies fit the bill
for the character of Sallah, Indy's best friend and sidekick from former
adventures in the Middle East.
His character became a memorable for viewers
and has remained one of his best-known roles.
He reprised the role in the
third Indiana film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, eight years
Throughout the '80s and '90s he remained in the shadows, playing supporting
roles for the most part, but landing occasional lead roles in Victor,
Victoria (1982), King Solomon's Mine (1985) and The Living
Daylights (1987). At the start of the new millennium he landed a starring
role in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, playing the dwarf, Gimli.
His television credits include Noble House, Great Expectations,
War and Remembrance, Archaeology, Sliders, The
Untouchables and Star Trek: Voyager, playing Leonardo Da Vinci.
has also lent his voice to various animations including the feature, Cats
Don't Dance and the series Batman: The Animated Series, Freakazoid,
Duckman, Gargoyles voicing MacBeth.
In November 2002, while playing the role of Porthos in the mini-series La Femme Musketeer, he made the news when a stage wall fell on him. Rhys-Davies sustained head injuries and a broken arm. He has since recovered.
An avid collector of antique cars, Rhys-Davies divides his time between Los
Angeles and the Isle of Man.
John Rhys-Davies Filmography